"We are constantly looking at what are the current performances and failure modes of the OEM product and with our own design department, we carry out investigations and engineering analysis to come up with better features to improve our products."
Can you give an overview of the range of mobile mining and fixed plant equipment Hofmann Engineering designs and manufactures and the company’s competitive advantages?
The most important product areas we have are Mobile Mining Equipment, including Electric Rope Shovels, Haul Trucks, Hydraulic Excavators, Rotary Blast Hole Drills, Wheel Loaders - and for fixed plant equipment HPGRs, Mill Gearing, Crushers, Stackers, Reclaimers and Shiploaders.
What are some of the standout projects and clients Hofmann Engineering has worked with in South America?
In South America, we have seen great demand for our HPGR components and Hofmann Engineering has been the first after-market non OEM Company to supply replacement HPGRs for change outs for Chilean, Mexican and Peruvian mining operations. These operations, by having an alternative (and competition), have decreased production costs and achieved better performance.
In SMCV in Peru we have the best performance tyres in operation. In Chile with Sierra Gorda our HPGR rollers performed very well. We continue to assist the customers with ongoing, multiple requirements.
On the MME side our transmissions have an excellent reputation with long service performance and a very fast repair service catering for customers that want a quick turnaround and we assist on a regular basis big customers such as Escondida, Collahuasi, Los Bronces, AMSA, SPCC and Antamina, as a few examples.
Another success story is the trackpads for 7495 Shovels where we have the record performance in a copper mine exceeding 35,000 hours of operation, which has brought many more business opportunities with new customers and markets recently.
How do the company’s solutions reduce downtime and operating costs through improved service life?
Our strategy to reduce downtime and operational costs is to provide product improvements for all our components. We are constantly looking at what are the current performances and failure mode of the OEM product and with our own design department, we carry out investigations and engineering analysis to come up with better features to improve our products. This includes using better materials, better heat treatment, fabrication and machining processes using state of the art technology to make sure we produce the best components with the aim to improve the service life and therefore reduce maintenance requirements and downtime for our customers. In the South American market, we have also identified that we need to have a stock of products on hand to be able to quickly assist with service exchanges or repairs.
What is Hofmann Engineering’s strategy for growth in South America for the coming years?
We are fortunate to have an excellent and dedicated team of managers and skilled technical professionals in South America. With our local capabilities and strong commitment, together with the support from our headquarters in Australia, we have witnessed excellent results in diversifying our product lines, and we expect to continue on this upward trajectory in the years ahead.
It is very important to successfully assist our customers, as a result we feel that they trust in our capability and request our assistance in more challenges and requirements.
Our strategy moving forward is to double the size of both of our workshops in Chile and Peru, as well as installing selected machinery at both of the sites. We also want to start manufacturing HGPRs locally in Chile, as we do in Peru, and are looking to diversify into new product areas in South America such as truck final drive repairs and to carry out structural repairs of heavy components including stress relieving.